Monday's Magic Word | Magic Basketball

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Mar 07

Monday’s Magic Word

  • Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel: “[Dwight] Howard will sit out tonight’s Magic game against the Portland Trail Blazers because he has accumulated 16 technical fouls this season. In the NBA, a player receives an automatic one-game suspension without pay if he compiles 16 techs during the regular season. A player also receives an additional one-game suspension for every two techs thereafter. Howard was whistled for his 16th tech during Friday night’s loss to the Chicago Bulls. Late in the second quarter, Howard collected an offensive rebound and absorbed a hit to the top of his head by Bulls center Joakim Noah. Fractions of a second later, Chicago’s Kyle Korver grabbed one of Howard’s arms, received a personal foul and held onto Howard’s arm after the whistle. Howard retaliated by swinging his elbows in Korver’s direction, meriting the technical foul. Most of Howard’s technicals this season have been for statements he made to referees after plays on the court. [Stan] Van Gundy said he finds it “really incredible” that referees have not called a flagrant foul on an opponent for excessive contact against Howard this season.”
  • Head coach Stan Van Gundy is not sympathetic of the Miami Heat’s current situation.
  • Van Gundy also thinks crying in the NBA isn’t a big deal.
  • Gilbert Arenas is a game-time decision to play against the Portland Trail Blazers in tonight’s game.
  • Surprisingly enough, David Aldridge of NBA.com thinks that the Orlando Magic were “winners” at the trade deadline not so much because of their inactivity but the relative inactivity of their Eastern Conference rivals.
  • Marc Stein of ESPN.com: “Getting a 16-tech suspension this early, when your name isn’t Sheed, has to hurt Dwight’s MVP campaign, no matter how impressively he’s otherwise carried the load amid all the change and struggles in the Magic Kingdom.”
  • Optical tracking of player movement is the next wave in statistical progress for the NBA.
  • Kurt Helin of ProBasketballTalk: “The Magic are kind of locking themselves in as the four seed in the East. Which means a second round matchup against Boston (we’re assuming they get out of the first round). That will be interesting.”
  • Howard says he’d like to finish his career with the Magic.
  • Zach Lowe of The Point Forward tabs Howard as his favorite to win the MVP award (as well as the Defensive Player of the Year award): “He won’t win the award, even though he’s having the finest all-around season of his career and means everything to a Magic team that has one of the league’s five best defenses with a roster that some would say features just one plus defender — Howard. He has shown, consistently, that he has refined his post game and extended his shooting range, and he has kept his shooting percentage at 60 despite carrying a heavier scoring load than ever this season. He remains the most destructive defensive force in the game; no big man can cover more ground on a pick-and-roll or affect more shots. He won’t win in part because defense is hard to quantify, and because of the general perception that Orlando has disappointed this season. But Howard deserves some of the blame, too. He “won” the race to be the first player suspended for accumulating 16 technical fouls, and he deservedly took a ton of flak for getting T’d up in the final seconds in a late-January game against Memphis that was still in the balance. And if he gets himself suspended once or twice more, he may fall out of the top spot in this space. But he’s here, for now.”
  • Kevin Pelton of Basketball Prospectus recaps the 2011 Sloan Sports Analytics Conference.
  • Bradford Doolittle of Basketball Prospectus chimes in on the race for MVP: “We can’t count Dwight Howard out just yet, as his numbers have only expanded as the season has progressed. He needs Orlando to go on a prolonged streak or else the Magic’s fourth-place standing is going to work against him. I’ve been surprised that there hasn’t been more support for L.A.’s Pau Gasol, who has stepped up his game at the same time Kobe Bryant has been asked to do a little less. As it stands, it’s really just a three-player race as I can’t see anybody outside of the James-Rose-Howard trio gaining widespread support, and Howard is a long shot.”
  • Cue a fine from commissioner David Stern’s office in three, two, one for Van Gundy.
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